For sale: the contents of Bush House, a landmark of BBC
1. At noon on Thursday, the BBC World Service will broadcast its last news bulletin from Bush House in The Aldwych. Then, once the solemn moment is past and the strains of the World Service theme tune Lilliburlero have disappeared into the distance, it will be open season on the building’s contents, in an online auction. Minimum bid £10. The biggest lots, they estimate, will go for £10,000 plus.
2. The BBC isn’t selling the two limestone statues that stand atop the towering Bush House pillars, but it’s auctioning off everything else inside that is not actually fixed to the walls.
3. You can buy anything from a small clock to a Steinway piano…
4. …to a full-blown broadcasting studio, complete with mixing desk.
5. There are photographs of all kinds of famous people being interviewed, from Paul McCartney going out live on the Russian Service…
6. …to Henry Kissinger being questioned on the daily news programme Outlook.
7. There’s even a subterranean staff bar, in which one entire wall is taken up with an aquarium.
8. This is the building where George Orwell worked, and which is said to have given him the idea, when writing 1984, both for the nightmarish Room 101 and the almost equally awful canteen at the Ministry of Truth.
9. “Over the years, I’ve found that the best way to work out where I am is to refer to the ornamental carved ceiling roses,” says Peter Connors. “They’re a different colour on each floor.”
10. Altogether, there are some 3,000 lots up for auction, the first 1,500 at the end of this month, the second 1,500 in September.